Friday, January 4, 2013

Annabelle and Rebekah Pass More Ice-Dance Tests! 1-4-2013

This past holiday season will always be remembered since it ended with Rebekah passing a gold dance, her Quickstep, and Annabelle passing a pre-silver dance, her Foxtrot.
Rebekah has only two gold dances left to pass before she is an ice dancing gold medalist (the Westminster and Viennese waltzes), and Annabelle has only the European Waltz to pass to complete the Pre-Silver dance test. 

You can say it was "more than complicated" to make these dance tests happen.

Those who read the Schneider-Farris family's skating blog may recall that nearly two years ago, the contracts of the resident ice dance coaches at the Colorado Springs World Arena were not renewed.

The World Arena's decision affected our family greatly.  We first waited for an Olympic level ice dance coach to come to the World Arena, but that did not happen.  Instead, all three Schneider-Farris kids stopped competing in ice dancing due to the coaching situation, but Joel and Annabelle continued to compete in pairs and Rebekah is working on getting all her senior tests passed (pairs, dance, free skating, and free dance).

Rebekah's ice-dance tests have been somewhat "pieced together" since there has not been a full-time high level male ice-dance coach available at the World Arena. To get Rebekah through some ice-dance tests, in late October, we took a trip out to Hartford, Connecticut for Rebekah to work on her last two pre-gold dances and one gold, the Argentine Tango. She spent a week and a half "ice dancing non-stop" with Denis Pethukhov and passed those three dances.  That was a great experience, so....

This time around, we shared the cost of flying Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov out to Colorado Springs from Connecticut. Linda Alexander, the manager of Honnen Ice Rink at Colorado College, set up a test session around the dates Melissa and Denis could come to Colorado.

Elena Dostatni, the new Colorado Springs World Arena ice dance director, originally gave Denis and Melissa permission to use the dance ice time at the Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall for my kids and Jessica Mancini (and also a student named Adelaide Ponte that Melissa and Denis brought out from Connecticut) to train on with Melissa and Denis, but after we paid for the plane flights and after they arrived, changed her mind.  We were only able to use that facility for one week.

So....the second week Melissa and Denis were in the Springs was difficult since we had to piece together ice time at CC, but all worked out. I must commend Linda Alexander, Colorado College's ice rink's manager, for going over and above for us. Without her, these ice-dance tests would not have been possible at all. 

Olympic and World ice-dance coach, Sandy Hess (who also coached Melissa and Denis), has been teaching Rebekah on her gold dance solos at the World Arena, and came to CC to teach the kids and a beautiful Quickstep and Foxtrot came together! It was amazing to see Sandy turn Annabelle's Foxtrot into a beautiful dance so quickly in fact!

Jessica Mancini's parents, Sal and Sharon, shared the cost of bringing Melissa and Denis out to Colorado. Jessica passed the Rhumba, an international dance that is higher than a gold dance.  Jessica's Rhumba was beautiful.  Unfortunately, Jessica was not able to take the Silver Samba because of the ice time that was lost when we couldn't use the World Arena, but she did get a critique from the judges.

Anyway...January 4, 2013 will be remembered as a very happy day for the Schneider-Farris girls. My dad, who had been ill for much of December, came to Colorado to watch the tests which, of course, made things extra special!

Congrats Rebekah, Annabelle, and Jessica!  Go kids!  And...thank you Melissa, Denis, Sandy, and Linda (and the entire staff at Honnen Ice Rink)!